PennitentMan's Saga, phase II


#1

I decided to start a new thread for this next developement.

Firstly, thanks to everyone who posted and gave me such great advice, that is wonderful! It’s great to have such support, even if I’m a newbie here :slight_smile:
Thank you all.

So, we had a little talk about this, last night and this morning.

The latest is that, at least she doesn’t think being intimate is wrong and she is willing to engage in it, but basically nothing will change from where we are now.
It’s going to be few and far between and it’s going to be short.

It’s just where we are in life right now, she said.

I honestly cannot expect more from her as a person, I know that she is taking strain as a stay at home mother, and I know that oppurtune times are few and far between.
But that doesn’t really change the fact that I am left more frustrated each day.

I’m sorry if this sounds like a “me, me, me” post, and maybe it is, but it really is exceedingly frustrating.
Just the fact that I look forward to our intimate moments so much, but it’s always so quick and a bit forced too, leaves me yearning, you know?

I know that I am yearning for intimacy with her, to feel united as husband and wife, but it’s getting to the point where I’m having a real struggle with just feeling aroused and frustrated all the time. It’s turning into a physical thing these days.

Maybe it’s nothing to do with her, maybe it’s me being upset that having a child has changed the intimacy between us so dramatically.
This may be very true.

So, I guess I’m asking the question again…is this how married life with a child is going to be for Catholic Men?
Full of yearning and frustration?
I think Catholic men feel this a lot more than any other, since they cannot do anything to relieve the situation, if you know what I mean…

Don’t worry, I’m not about to go off “sinning” here, and I honestly don’t see any way that this will improve…it’s just life.
Does it have to suck like this?

Being a Catholic is difficult! Much more so than any other religion…I know about our rewards waiting in heaven, and honestly, that is what is keeping me going right now…but gosh, some days are bad…I’m actually shaking as I write this.

Well, this post turned into a bit of a rant, I’m sorry :slight_smile:

Thanks for listening.

In Christ,
PM


#2

Sorry I didn’t get the opportunity to chime in on the first thread… but I did read along…

Now… this is just my opinion…
But this is a semi-common occurance for stay-at-home-moms (at least from those I’ve talked to on this subject)… because they’re with a clingy child all day they can get tired of being “touched” all day long. Physical “touching” from the husband isn’t intriguing…
If I were you… and this may take a while to implement in your life… I would find a way for your wife to get some alone time. Either using a babysitter in the afternoons so she can run to the gym or go shopping… or a part time job just to get out of the house.
From women I’ve spoken to in this situation… this always seems to be a central desire for some alone time. Maybe once she feels like she can care for HERSELF… then she can start to share herself with you more… does that make sense?

Well, situations like this can be very difficult, yes. We don’t live in a perfect world with perfectly behaved kids, clean homes, fresh meals… without a little sacrifice.
My personal situation is slightly different… as a full time working mother with two kids I can easily see both sides of your dilema though… as we are also using NFP, but on the other hand, MY desire often exceeds my husbands…

It’s always important to remind each other how much you love them… #1… if the spouse doesn’t feel loved and appreciated and confident in their own roles, then it can be very difficult to share that “lack” of love… Spouses have to feed off each other’s love… back and forth… give and take…

God bless… you’ll be in my prayers.


#3

I know I replied to your last post, but I just wanted to reiterate and suggest a couple things.

I would definitely look into a Theology of the Body study by Christopher West. I’ve done it on my own several times and am doing it with my husband and other couples now. It’s really a wonderfully Catholic perspective on sex and the human body. I think you and your wife would benefit, even if she says this is the way it is now.

Secondly, I would also recommend The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. My husband’s primary love language is physical touch (and his drive is WAY above mine now that I’m pregnant). I know he feels loved best when I’m touching him or he’s touching me (and even something simple like holding his hand in public or letting him touch my hair in public), esp. in the marital embrace. So, even when I’m not feeling necessarily “up to it” I say yes with my whole heart because that’s what marriage is - a gift of self.

Anyway, hope this helps! You and your family will be in my prayers!


#4

Is anyone else going to actually come out and say that the wife is being at least somewhat selfish? I know that that’s not very constructive, but this man is suffering.


#5

If it makes you feel any better, I am in the very same boat…word for word…feeling for feeling.

I do belive the answer to your question is YES!

I have given up trying to convince my wife to be intimate, because for me that only adds to the frustration for me, and I feel it degrades the act when we do get intamate, because I feel the only reason she is doing it is to keep me from being frustated.

In the past I used to get so frustrated that I would be very short with her, and sometimes down right mean. I would pray the rossary and ask the Blessed Mother to help me with my tempations and frustrations. Anyway, long story short, through my prayer and the help of the Holy Spirit, I have come to the revelation that this is the difference between men and women. This is just my opinion (and others can chime in if they want), but women don’t need sexual intercouse to feel intamacy. We men do. In our tiny little brains, touch =love. Just imagine if women had the same sex drive as men…we would always be in bed :slight_smile:

I digress. Through this revelation I was able to accept this fact which has helped me tons. Mostly because I now understand that my wife’s lack of desire is not her “choice” which was the most frustrating for me. In my mind, I always thought that she was choosing to not be with me, or she wanted to not be with me, or she didn’t desire me anymore, no matter what she told me.

The other thing that really helped me was to understand and accept this as a cross to bear! Jesus was nailed to his cross, atleast my cross has no nailing involved :D.

But seriously. I now try to attend daily mass, and as I am praying I tell Christ that I am laying all my struggles and frustrations at the foot of His cross, I pray that my humble, worthless sacrifice will be used as reperation for my sins and the sins of the whole world. I also offer it up for reperation for the souls in purgetory.

Anyway that has helped me in my struggle, hopefully it makes sense and in some way helps.

God Bless, and stay strong.


#6

Thank you for the post, it’s good to know that I’m not alone.

I am where you were a little while ago.
I do pray the rosary daily, asking for relase of the temptations and frustrations.
I’m also trying to attend daily Mass.
I do not think, however, that I have fully accepted this cross yet.

That is really bad of me though, and I hope that your post will cause me to accept this more and also to offer it up more than I do.
I guess at this stage I feel a little cheated. I’m not going to say anymore, but I think that is where I am now.

It’s tough for me to get to that stage when, right now, I feel like I have been cheated, you know?

But I’ll have to work through this, like I said, at least I know that I’m not alone.
The more I think of this, the more I think that most Catholic men must be in the same shoes as I, just in different stages of the walk.

Somedays the road is very steep and narrow, ya know?

It’s ironc…
When you are Catholic it’s like this:
No sex untill you are married.
Then you get married and the sex is great.
A few years (or months) down the road, you get pregnant and you are back to little or no sex, only now you konw what you are missing…


#7

In most cases, this is probably true. :slight_smile:

PenitentMan–Is your wife aware of this little fact?


#8

Well, if nothing else I think this thread has helped me get to the root of my problems and frustrations.
And that is…Me.
I still have a long way to go in this problem, but I’ll have to make some serious attitude adjustments, but it seems like this is just one of those facts of life after babies.

Pray for me that I’ll be able to accept this cross and not rebel against it, like I clearly am doing right now.

Like I said before, I do believe that this is just a fact of life, and I do not see anyhting changing, and no way out of this, except acceptance.
Boy, its hard though.

Thank you for accepting me, listening to me, giving me advice and praying for me.
You guys rock!

In Christ,
PM.


#9

I’m not too sure if she knows that whole truth…she knows that *she *doesn’t need physical intercourse to feel loved, but I think she is expecting and assuming the same for me.

However, I think that I’ll have to deal with this on my own. (see my previous post) Any attempt to talk about it in the past have failed, ending in an argument of varying proportions.

Thanks for that though :slight_smile:

In Christ,
PM


#10

I would have to say this mostly depends on the individual couple.
We all have to make sacrafices in life… but each individual’s sacrafice is unique.
Yours may be sex… but it’s not the same for all Catholics… or all men/women…


#11

She’s probably not open to it now, from the sound of things, but if you can, without ending up in a fight, see if she’s willing to read “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands” by Dr. Laura Schessinger. The issue you mention here is an entire chapter (at least) if I recall correctly.


#12

Thanks! I’ll try to approach her, when I think it would be an appropriate time.
:slight_smile:


#13

LittleRose makes a very good point…
If your wife is not aware of your needs then that’s not fair either.
You say your discussions always end in an argument… which means she is truly frustrated that she can’t give you what you need.
I would try to find out what you can do to help her help you! :slight_smile:
Like I mentioned before… some women are so exhaused from being “touched” all day long while they’re at home with the baby… they want nothing to do with “touch”…

Find some ways to get her out of the house for some alone time.
Good luck and God bless…


#14

I know it is a little cliché, but imagine how cheated Christ must have felt knowing the cross He was going to bear. I do find that I can accept it more when I do think of it in terms of Christ and the struggle His human side must of been going through.

it is easier to talk about accepting our cross, but in no way is it any easier for me than it is for you.

Remember it can’t be REDEMPTIVE SUFFERING if it doesn’t involve giving something sooooooo good!

Also, be thankful God gave you this cross to bear, there are far worse crosses to have to endure. When I think about it that way, the once a month (if things are going good that month) becomes that much more special.


#15

Thanks, I’ll see about planing some way to do that :thumbsup:

In Christ,
PM


#16

I would second this. Although, I haven’t read the book, one of the presenters for the Marriage Prep that my wife and I volunteer with is a professional marriage counsler and he always introduces the Five Love Languages. We have taken the test and it does help to understand each other better and what each other needs.

On a side note, I was surprised by how many men had a primary love language of physical touch.


#17

I don’t think this has been mentioned here, but you might suggest that your wife have her hormones checked? Sometimes after childbirth there can be an imbalance and this could definitely affect her libido.
It’s just a thought. It may have nothing to do with her lack of desire - but then again it could.

Marriage should NOT be this difficult. You should not have to “suffer” so much! Your frustrations are absolutely VALID my friend! There is no need to “blame” yourself for anything here. You have a right - and your wife has a moral duty - to marital intimacy and sexual relations!
Pardon me if I am a little too blunt here but the depth of your pain warrants it: You say that the scant time a month you are allowed to be intimate with your wife that it’s frustrating because it’s “over” so quickly (understandable when it has been physically building in you for so long).
Well - this seems to imply that you are intimate once and then that’s it for the night.
Well - what if you had a “round 2” and even :eek: “round 3” to look forward to?
I mean, young people especially are able to enjoy this kind of intimacy.
Could you think of ways to “spice” things up?
ROMANCE is such a key to most women’s hearts!
Candles, soft lighting, a little surprise “just because” something. Doesn’t have to be much.

I just really feel sad for you.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Nor should it.

I think we need to pray for your wife as much as we pray for you. That God will place a “spark” in her that makes her desire you the way you NEED to be desired by your wife.
That is the way God designed it. (Have her read "Song of Solomon!) :thumbsup:


#18

Go buy this book for you…

amazon.com/Five-Love-Languages-Heartfelt-Commitment/dp/1881273105/sr=8-4/qid=1170946687/ref=pd_bbs_sr_4/104-8283588-8637560?ie=UTF8&s=books

And this one for her…

amazon.com/Five-Love-Languages-Heartfelt-Commitment/dp/1881273156/sr=8-1/qid=1170946687/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-8283588-8637560?ie=UTF8&s=books

I also would suggest that she have herself checked out. After I had my children my thyroid went ballistic, one result was a very low libido. It was symptom of a bigger issue. Is there anything else that has been bothering her? Weight gain? Inability to lose weight? Fatigue? Etc?

Another thing that GREATLY helps me is a cleaning service. They come in once every 2 weeks, and it gives me back HOURS and HOURS. I can spend more of my time doing things that I never get around to doing, and more things that I enjoy doing. Since hiring them, a load has been taken off my shoulders. I still have plenty of things to do around here, but having them come and do the bigger cleaning things (bathrooms, etc) makes a huge difference.

The other thing that has an eye brow up is the fact that she’s not willing to try to compromise at all. Did you mention reading the books? Does she seem willing to try anything? Or was “sorry, this is how it’s going to be, deal with it” was her attitude? If it was the latter, you may want to look into marriage counseling or consult your priest because there may be underlying issues that she’s not bringing to the surface.

Also, does she get out during the day and interact with other moms? Go to a MOPS group, baby and me classes, etc? Or is she the type to sit at home all day? If she sits at home, she could be in that phase that some SAHMs go through where they feel a little jealous of their husbands, and instead of making the best of it, they hide away. Maybe encourage her to get out more? Meet new friends? Ladies group at church maybe?


#19

Nothing else that I know of is bothering her except maybe fattigue, but I can also understand that, since she’s a mommy all day long.

Another thing that GREATLY helps me is a cleaning service. They come in once every 2 weeks, and it gives me back HOURS and HOURS. I can spend more of my time doing things that I never get around to doing, and more things that I enjoy doing. Since hiring them, a load has been taken off my shoulders. I still have plenty of things to do around here, but having them come and do the bigger cleaning things (bathrooms, etc) makes a huge difference.

I like that Idea too, I’ll definately check into that.

The other thing that has an eye brow up is the fact that she’s not willing to try to compromise at all. Did you mention reading the books? Does she seem willing to try anything? Or was “sorry, this is how it’s going to be, deal with it” was her attitude? If it was the latter, you may want to look into marriage counseling or consult your priest because there may be underlying issues that she’s not bringing to the surface.

No, it’s not like she’s a “dragonlady” or anything. She is very sweet and nice. Yesterday I think my emotions were running quite high.
She just honestly doesn’t think that there is a problem. We have chatted about it, and it’s just like, “we are in a new phase of our lives, we are more busy, we are parents, and that is it.” Like I said, she was very nice about it, but that is how it is for her.
I have told her (as much as I could and a gentle as I could, so as not to spark another argument) that my drive is so much higher, but that part just doesn’t seem to get through to her. and yes, I have told her more than once about this.
I guess she is just a bit oblivious about that, maybe due to the fact that she is caring for the little one all the time.

Also, does she get out during the day and interact with other moms? Go to a MOPS group, baby and me classes, etc? Or is she the type to sit at home all day? If she sits at home, she could be in that phase that some SAHMs go through where they feel a little jealous of their husbands, and instead of making the best of it, they hide away. Maybe encourage her to get out more? Meet new friends? Ladies group at church maybe?

She is a SAHM, but she does get out from time to time. She meets friends from from church and the community centre groups from time to time…this tends to get her exhausted at times though, but again, I can see that, it’s tough going somewhere with a child.

So, in short,
I don’t think that there are any underlying issues…she’s adjusting to being a SAHM and caring for our child full time, and I guess that is her priorities right now. At the end of the day, there’s just no time or yearning for intimacy. I don’t really blame here either, I can see how it would happen.

We have spoken about it now, and it’s just the way it’s going to be. Honestly, if I had to talk about it again, it would be a major argument.

Also, from our recent discussion, she is now waiting for me to initiate things each time. That is fine, I’ll do the whole candles and music thing, but I am really under the impression it’s just a duty to her and something that needs to get over and done with. And to be honest, it kinda shows in the simplicity of the matter (as described on the previous thread).

So, do I even bother? Yes I do since it is something that will bring us closer together. But some days I am reluctant to even start it since it’s going to leave me unfulfilled anyway.
Wow, I sound like a really bad person here. I’m sorry!!! I’m just wrinting my feelings down here.

And, I know it’s going to be fine in the end, and that it is something that I need to deal with. I understand that and I do not see any other way, so I accept it, it’s just tough. It’s like the carrot onthe stick, ya know? At least with the celebate people, they can totally turn away from it and push it away…for me it feels like the carrot on the stick and I get a nibble once a month :slight_smile:

I’ll keep on asking our Lady for her help.

Thanks for the posts and concerns.

In Christ.


#20

Guys, you have been such a great help with this, but I think it’s time to close these two posts.

I’m afraid that I’ll just sink into one of those “poor me” situations, and that’s is not what I want.

Thank you all for the help and advice, this has been fantastic and some great ideas!

But I think I’m going to refrain from posting again just so that I can keep focus on the future and how to recitify the situation.

Thanks again, you are fantastic!

Your brother in Christ,
PM


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